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The Great Covid Panic: What Happened, Why, and What To Do Next Kindle Edition
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How to make sense of the astonishing upheaval of Spring 2020 and following? Normal life – in which expected rights and freedoms were taken for granted – came to be replaced by a new society as managed by a medical/ruling elite that promised but failed to deliver virus mitigation, all in the name of public health. Meanwhile, we’ve lost so much of what we once had: travel freedoms, privacy, a democratic presumption of equality, commercial freedoms, and even the access to information portals. Something has gone very wrong.
To make sense of it all, the Brownstone Institute is pleased to announce the publication of The Great Covid Panic: What Happened, Why, and What To Do Next, by Paul Frijters, Gigi Foster, and Michael Baker. Combining rigorous scholarship with evocative and accessible prose, the book covers all the issues central to the pandemic and the disastrous policy response, a narrative as comprehensive as it is intellectually devastating. In short, this is THE book the world needs right now.
In the Great Panic of early 2020, nearly every government in the world restricted the movement of its population, disrupted the education of its children, suspended normal individual liberties, hijacked its healthcare system, and in other ways increased its direct control of people’s lives. Attempts to control the new coronavirus in most countries made the number of deaths from both the virus and other health problems rise. Some countries and regions snapped out of the madness in early 2021 or even before. Yet other governments, still in 2021, were ever more fanatically obsessed with control.
Why did 2020 become, so suddenly and so forcefully, a year of global panic over a virus that for most people is barely more dangerous than a standard-issue flu virus? This book reveals how the madness started, what kept it going, and how it might end. This is also a book about stories and experiences, some real and some fictionalized to protect identities. Join Jane the complier, James the decider, and Jasmine the doubter, the three core protagonists of the narrative part of the book. Their experiences illustrate what happened to individuals and through them to whole societies, telling us — if we care to listen — how to avoid a repeat. This literary presentation is mixed with detailed reports of the actual data and deep research that has generally been obscured in the midst of media madness and obfuscation by public-health authority.
“A tour-de-force on how the pandemic response was driven by fear, crowd thinking, big business and a desire for control, rather than by sound public health principles. This is bound to be a classic.” ~ Professor Martin Kulldorff, Harvard Medical School
“When I received the manuscript, I was hooked from the first page and knew then that I would miss a full night’s sleep. I did indeed. My heart raced from beginning to end. As the publisher, I must say that this book is a dream for me, the book I never thought would exist, the book that I believe can change everything.” ~ Jeffrey Tucker, Founder Brownstone Institute.About the authors
Paul Frijters is a Professor of Wellbeing Economics at the London School of Economics: from 2016 through November 2019 at the Center for Economic Performance, thereafter at the Department of Social Policy. Gigi Foster is a Professor at the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales. Michael Baker, BA (Economics) from the University of Western Australia, is an independent economic consultant and freelance journalist with a background in policy research.
The Brownstone Institute, established May 2021, is a publisher and research institute that places the highest value on the voluntary interaction of individuals and groups while minimizing the use of violence and force including that which is exercised by public authority.
- ASIN : B09FT8KXBW
- Publisher : Brownstone Institute (8 September 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 13952 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,257 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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Top reviews from Australia
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The larger context is set in terms of the theory of political economics and it’s explained most engagingly. Of course lockdowns are costly in so many ways and do not work well. This book goes well past this obvious point and provides a great deal of information, logic and analysis.
The last few chapters point to the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope that the optimistic predictions come to pass.
I can recommend this book most highly.
The picture is not pretty: beyond the collapse of the freedoms that those at least in the West have come to take for granted, the long-term implications of the gargantuan distortions in spending, schooling, socialization and work have not even begun to be appreciated.
These authors are bold and brave enough not only to look at all these (essentially ignored aspects), but to nail their colours to the mast by naming and shaming those who have cynically tried to profit form the pandemic via collusion or frank corruption.
That it won't be popular with some is all the more reason to read it very soon.
Essential reading for all those who are disillusioned: sanity is out there!
Bordering on conspiracy theory paranoia with its talk of manipulating populations and powerful people’s hidden agendas
Total tripe. Don’t waste your money unless you’re anti lockdown, an anti masker, anti- vax mandator, or believe Covid is ‘just the flu’ and want to stay in your echo chamber
Top reviews from other countries
‘It could be said that in the first three months of 2020, billions of people on the planet turned their backs on life, living instead in a kind of twilight zone weakly illuminated by the vague hope of a vaccine. Many became zombie conformers, stuck in their homes and gradually losing their humanity…
Many governments created optimal conditions for corruption by simply dropping their normal competitive bidding processes and handing out contracts to well-connected businessmen, without transparency or oversight…
One of the important rules about how fear works is that the fearful individual focuses obsessively on the feared object. Politicians, businessmen and others in the right place at the right time can exploit this by promising fearful people a solution and then robbing them when they are not looking. Such robberies need not by confined to money – much more darkly, they can be stealing things that are harder won and harder to win back, like personal freedoms and human rights…
90 percent of people who get Covid don’t even notice they have it, and are therefore not a serious case…
Lockdowns essentially targeted the wrong people: namely, the healthy, working population that hardly got sick from Covid. Those who were the likeliest both to get sick and to spread it to others were old people. They had pressing reasons to be in all the wrong places. Other illnesses forced them to get help in hospitals or at doctors’ offices, or within their nursing homes. All three of these places in most Western countries are almost designed to be Covid distribution centres. Moreover, having been shut inside their homes with little exercise and social interaction to improve their immune systems, the elderly became much more vulnerable over time because their health deteriorated…
Every excuse concocted during the Great Panic for suspending normal human activity was dressed up to look as scientific as possible. Governments and their science advisors got almost everything wrong…
The genuine incompetence was ongoing and breathtaking, showing no sign of ending even in the second half of 2021 in the countries still caught in the Great Panic…
Ari Joffe’s story – ‘I am embarrassed to say that I initially favored lockdowns. I thought that my expertise in infectious diseases and critical care medicine gave me an ability to assess risk. But that training and expertise only gave me blinders – I was only able to see one infectious disease. I had seen the case fatality rate, and ignored the fact that the infection fatality rate was over 10 times lower. In people aged over 70 years the IFR was 0.05%, and for those aged less than 50 years the IFR was lower than for seasonal flu. The high-risk groups were individuals aged 60-69 with severe comorbidities, and individuals aged 70 years or over, particularly in longterm care homes.' (Each year, 17.8 million people die of cardiovascular disease, 9.6 million of cancer, 6.5 million of respiratory diseases other than Covid-19, 2.5 million of dementia and 2.4 million of digestive disease. So Covid-19 is not even among the top 5 causes of death).
'From my privileged position, I had not recognized predictable collateral effects of lockdowns, including loneliness, unemployment, economic recession, interrupted schooling, interrupted healthcare, domestic violence, overdoses and exacerbated inequality. Loneliness, unemployment and adverse childhood experiences are among the top risk factors for shortened lifespan, mental health problems and chronic non-communicable diseases. Though a pediatrician, I failed to recognize that missing school will affect an entire generation with reduced social development, executive function (e.g. decision-making ability), earning potential and future lifespan. After learning these things, I calculated that lockdowns cause at least 10 times more loss of wellbeing and life-years than they prevent.’ (cf. ‘Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink’ by Ari Joffe in Frontiers in Public Health; ‘Covid Lockdown Costs/ Benefits’ by Douglas W. Allen; and the Collateralglobal website).
'Key to warm social relationships are regular close proximity, skin touching, eye contact, coordinated movements such as in sports, dance and sex, group singing, hugging and other forms of closeness. These are elements of warm social relations that cannot be mimicked remotely, and are crucial to bear in mind when gauging the damage to mental health from social distancing. Depriving people of regular close proximity rates among the cruelest things one can do…'
The editors of The Lancet, the journal that published the earliest studies on Covid, were particularly guilting of jumping the gun. They simply assumed that copying the Chinese lockdowns was useful and worth the costs. They wrote this without having made any calculations of the public and economic consequences of these measures. This shocking deviation from decades of sober writing on public health showed not only an abandonment of responsibility, to science and the public, but extreme hubris as well…
The first government to act was China’s, which locked down affected cities and actively managed the flow of information about the virus. Among the levers China’s government could pull to vindicate its strategy was its financial clout inside the World Health Organization. China’s grip on WHO’s leadership was so strong it led Japan’s finance minister to refer to the WHO as the ‘China Health Organization’.
Western governments were no better when it came to the manipulation of information. We now know from the book A State of Fear by Laura Dodsworth that the British authorities deliberately used fear tactics and disinformation to get their own population to comply (cf. the video ‘Covid is a Global Propaganda Operation’ on Rumble)…
A 2021 survey of US businesses found that ‘the smallest offline firms experienced sales drops of over 40%, compared to less than 10% for the largest online firms. The World Bank reported that ‘more than half of micro and small businesses are in arrears or expected to fall in arrears in the next six months.’ So all over the world, small businesses lost out to big ones, with regulations and government-fanned fear to blame.' (A Gallup poll in May 2021 found that 'one in two people globally lost income due to the pandemic').
Covid mania produced a modern-day equivalent of a raid by medieval barons on the remaining independent peasants. When the dust settled, the value of stock markets, which is to say the largest companies, increased, while small companies disappeared…
The big internet players were more than happy to start censoring critical voices and supporting extensions of lockdowns. For instance, Cephas Alain in June 2021 unravelled the story of how Big Tech was involved in a wide attempt to censor the theory that Covid escaped from a lab in China. Just like the barons of the Middle Ages, the barons of the internet acted in ways that made them richer and more powerful. Lockdowns were an unexpected gift, for which they became vocal supporters…' (cf. America’s G-MAFIA: Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook-Instagram, Apple, as well as the Silicon Valley 150; and authoritarian China’s BATHByD (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, ByteDance, ultimately overseen by 3PLA and 4PLA).
'However, self-interest ordained that some of the barons would turn against each other. Nowhere was this more evident than the spat between Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla’s Elon Musk. While Zuckerberg was an ardent lockdown fan, profited hugely from it, and expressed concern that stay-at-home mandates would be yanked too soon, Musk demanded that the lockdown be lifted in California where he had his biggest factory…’
The authors conclude:
‘In the bigger scheme of things, life is a battlefield between good and evil. Today, evil has dramatically overrun and taken over almost all the institutions of the world. There is no longer an assurance that the good will ever come back from this comprehensive rout.
But the good can’t even imagine a comeback without being a perpetual contender in every battle. We need to channel the Churchill that exists within each of us: ‘We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills: we shall never surrender.’
The Great Covid Panic is essential reading for very troubled times.